CityScape honors those improving, taking pride in Youngstown

Firefighters memorial on Mahoning Avenue Bridge

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown has a lot of blight but there are also areas of the city where people have improved their properties. In recognition of their hard work, Youngstown CityScape held its 11th annual Beautification Awards.

There was applause Tuesday evening for Youngstown Firefighter Tony Ciccone and the effort made to rebuild the firefighters memorial in front of the central station on Mahoning Avenue.

“We love the way it looks. We’re real happy with it and there’s a little bit of room for expansion on it if we want to add some things in the future,” Ciccone said.

The new firefighters memorial was one of 20 Beautification Awards given out by CityScape, which is in its 20th year of operation.

“You’ll be driving down a street and all of a sudden, one just jumps out at you,” said Sharon Letson, with CityScape.

The new Barnes & Noble bookstore and The Edge student apartments at Youngstown State also received awards, along with the renovation of the downtown YMCA.

Mike Gibson, owner of Gibson Property Art, was honored for his unique style of landscaping.

“I actually specialize in curb appeal landscaping. I specialize in topiary and topiary, for those who don’t know, is the art of shaping trees and shrubs into ornamental shapes,” he said.

Six homes were awarded as well — three of which are on the south side.

One on Shirley Road was noted for its consistent clean look and the summer house in the backyard built around a tree.

Another on Erie Street on the lower south side is surrounded by wildflowers in the summer.

And the W. LeClede Avenue home of Willie and Mary Mitchell features an inviting front deck and ornamental displays in the yard.

“We take pride in it. Oftentimes people just stop by and compliment us,” Willie said.

The Students Motivated by the Arts (SMARTS) program was honored for its work on the Ohio One building renovation, as were the volunteers who care for the east side’s Mt. Hope Veterans Memorial Park Cemetary and those responsible for building the Sheridan Road Rain Garden.

Other notable community projects receiving awards:

  • Know Your Neighborhood Block Watch butterfly habitat on north side
  • Crandall Park south lot beautification
  • Garden District lot beautification
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • McGuffey Road Pocket Park
  • Youngstown U-Pull-It Albert Street beautification